masks final - Adiyah Crute Beverly Trask December 5, 2009...

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Adiyah Crute Beverly Trask December 5, 2009 Social dance Masks in Dance Masks are used globally for their distinguished power as a feature of masked performance –both ritually and in various theatre traditions . According to Dictionary.com a mask “is a covering worn on the face to conceal one's identity” . Although this is the basic explanation, a mask has a greater meaning than the basic definition of hiding one’s self . The ancient Latin word for mask is "persona" which literally means "false face" , an aspect of the personality shown to or perceived by others . When a mask is worn it, by its own features, begins to establish another being . The essential characteristic of hiding and revealing personalities or moods is common to all masks . As cultural objects they have been used throughout the world in all periods since the Stone Age and have been varied in appearance in their use and symbolism . Many masks are associated with ceremonies that have religious and social importance . The social significance is typically dealing with funerary customs , fertility rites, or curing sickness. Other masks are used in festive occasions to portray characters in a theatrical performance and in re-enactments of mythological events . Masks are also used for warfare and as protective devices in certain sports, as well as frequently being used as decoration . The use of masks in cultural rituals has
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transcended into the world of dance . Masks allow the dancers to become an alter ego which permit them to take on a character without caring what others might think . In Africa masks can be traced back to the Paleolithic times . African-American dancing, the vernacular tradition , are those dances which have developed within African American communities in the United States from the 1600s . The term ‘vernacular dance’ is often critiqued by dancers within a tradition as being unnecessarily ‘technical’ . Despite these issues, the term is commonly used in dance studies literature worldwide . African American vernacular dances are usually centered on social dance practice , though performance and concert dance often provide complementary aspects on social dance practice . Placing great value on improvisation, African
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masks final - Adiyah Crute Beverly Trask December 5, 2009...

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